Thursday, November 1, 2012
Something old, something new, something Irish, something Clare
I have confessed before that I have a gigantic soft spot for Irish stories - almost as much as I have one for Clare. She was here last fall for the National Storytelling Festival, and took Jonesborough by storm. People still talk about her stories and her friendly smile (and her "gorgeous Irish accent", because this is America, and everyone around here is Irish :) The CD was recorded live during the festival, as one can see right in the title.
I love this fact about it. It does not only bring you the tales, it brings you the festival experience. Right at the beginning there is Dovie's wonderful introduction, and then there are the reactions from the audience, and the whole thing just feel a lot more alive than a studio recording could ever be.
Clare's stage performance translates really well into recording. The sound effects are all there, the humor comes through loud and clear (maybe I should stop listening to it on the street, because I either grin and giggle like an idiot, or jump at random times). The fact about Clare is, and one of the things I like the most in her storytelling, is that she loves all her stories with a passion that comes through even on a sound recording. She hand picks them, and nurtures them, and enjoys them with the playfulness of a child while sharing them with the wisdom of a crone.
The selection of tales is also full of treats. Some short but great stories like Half a Blanket, or the Legend of Knockgrafton mix in with the big ones, including my ever favorite, the birth of Oisin (if it wasn't for Clare, I still could not pronounce half the names in my favorite Irish tales, by the way, so extra points for that). Lively personalities, unique voices and strong emotions fill every track, and one finds herself walking through a mythic landscape guided by the voice of a trickster.
If you are thoroughly craving some Clare Murphy Irish magic by now, here is the link to her album. Have fun!